Cops and Courts

$1M for family of man who died in custody of state police

CHARLESTON  — A $1 million dollar settlement is going through between the West Virginia State Police and the estate of a man who died in police custody.  

The settlement was approved Tuesday by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Kenneth Ballard. It’s in regards to the wrongful death lawsuit for Edmond Exline, 45, who died in February  2023, following a confrontation with state police along Interstate 81, near Martinsburg.  

After State Police responded to a call of a man walking along the road who appeared to be intoxicated, troopers said a “struggle” broke out between them and Exline. State officials said tasers were used multiple times during the altercation until Exline became unresponsive and officers were unable to resuscitate him.  

Exline was later pronounced dead at the Berkeley Medical Center.  

Exline’s friends and family said he was a paranoid schizophrenic and was likely having a mental health breakdown. His son, who oversees the estate, sued the police agency and the three troopers involved.  

He said they used excessive and deadly force on his father, unlawfully detaining and killing him.  

A judge will rule on how the settlement money is distributed among Exline’s son and his four brothers.  

A Grant County prosecuting attorney,  serving as a special prosecutor, took the case to the Berkeley County grand jury and sought involuntary manslaughter indictments for the three troopers, but the jury unanimously decided against the indictments.